Sessions electric motor rebuild?

Dr Gerry

New Member
May 10, 2021
4
0
1
63
Country
I have a Session Onyx clock which the motor doesn't work. I cleaned the shaft and it spins well, but nothing happens when I apply power. I can't seem to find one of these online anywhere. I am trying to take it apart to maybe rewind the coil.

Does anyone know how they come apart? I've gotten the shaft out but that's as far as I can figure out . .

20210509_143856.jpg 20210509_143903.jpg 20210510_145236.jpg
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
14,064
1,495
113
There are a few people who can repair these old rotors. Probably best to replace it with a new one, someone may have some NOS somewhere ... or not. Electrics are pretty much a "gone thing" since about the 90s. :)
Willie X
 
Last edited:

Dr Gerry

New Member
May 10, 2021
4
0
1
63
Country
Thank you, so . . . where would I find a "New" one? It would have to have the perfect RPM, and clockwise/counterclockwise would have to be right as well.
 

Dick Feldman

Registered User
Sep 1, 2000
2,531
205
63
Colorado, usa
Country
Region
If an exact replacement is not available and the one you have is not repairable, you might find a suitable replacement that can be adapted.
The original should have rotation, rpm, etc stamped on it somewhere. If you can find a motor that has the same, it might be possible to change mounts, pinion gear, etc to end with a working clock.
Another alternative is to replace with a quartz movement.
Best of luck,
Dick
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,713
1,912
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Those pressed on parts are pretty hard to take apart without damaging them. I've been successful a time or two, and not successful on other attempts. The usual problem is the inside coil wire breaking off. Those are hard to find again. Keep an eye on Ebay. Those motors come up every so often. Also keep googling. There are people who repair them. Google "Synchronous motor repair". Also check the specs on the synchronous motors that come up. They might have the speed and rotation you need.
 

Tim Orr

National Membership Chair
Director
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Sep 27, 2008
1,573
291
83
Boulder CO
Country
Region
Good evening, Doctor!

Ken Reindel, president of Chapter 21, is quite an expert on rebuilding electric clocks of all sorts, from SWCC to Hammond Bichronous. You might want to visit his website: kensclockclinic.com

If nothing else, you could make contact and see what he recommends. In the last presentation I saw him make, he made the point that the supply of replacement parts keeps dwindling, and he often has to completely rebuild.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

davefr

NAWCC Member
Nov 29, 2008
485
25
28
Oregon
www.telechronclock.com
Country
Region
Please don't convert the clock to Quartz!! That's horology malpractice!! I have this motor that might work. There's no wobble in the shaft and the coil tests good. However where the two leads come out of the case, the insulation is badly deteriorated and close to making contact with the case. I'm pretty sure it can be saved by applying epoxy into the exit holes and/or reinforcing the leads with heat shrink tubing. If you want to attempt the repair then PM me. You can have the motor for free if you pay the shipping.

P5120002.jpg P5120004.jpg
 

Mike Phelan

Registered User
Dec 17, 2003
10,063
66
48
West Yorkshire, England
Country
Region
Please don't convert the clock to Quartz!! That's horology malpractice!! I'm pretty sure it can be saved by applying epoxy into the exit holes and/or reinforcing the leads with heat shrink tubing.
I completely agree! For me, I'd go with the heat shrink as it looks like this can be pushed well into the hole on the motor.
 
Last edited:

davefr

NAWCC Member
Nov 29, 2008
485
25
28
Oregon
www.telechronclock.com
Country
Region
I spent a few minutes with it. I was able to dig out enough old insulation to get past the brass ferrules into the cavity of the case. I used two layers of heat shrink tubing and sealed it up with epoxy. It runs good but could use the shaft and inner bearings cleaned and re-lubricated.

P5120007.jpg P5120009.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave T

bikerclockguy

Registered User
Jul 22, 2017
749
76
28
Country
Am I missing something here? I was thinking about buying a PAM advertising clock for my shop, and all the advice I got was along the lines of “Don’t do it, you’ll electrocute yourself or burn the house down”. I would still like to have one, are they dangerous or not?
 

Tim Orr

National Membership Chair
Director
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Sep 27, 2008
1,573
291
83
Boulder CO
Country
Region
Good afternoon, Biker!

Sounds like alarmist behavior on the part of those advising you. After all PAM clocks functioned in businesses around the country for decades without electrocuting anyone. If nothing is shorting to the case and if nothing is overheating, there's no reason to conclude that PAM clocks are any more dangerous than any other electric appliance.

Clearly, an old clock in a state of decrepitude ought to be "repaired" (in the sense of "to restore to a sound or healthy state") before you use it, but I've never seen any reason to believe that PAM clocks are inherently dangerous.

Best regards!

Tim
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
14,064
1,495
113
Yep, a few months ago (on this list) people were saying categorically, electrics were a fire hazard??

For me, it doesn't matter to much which way the story goes. Electric clocks have their strong points and so do battery clocks. The main difference to me is the expense of repairing electrics today. It only makes sence for a nice Revere, or very large dial clock, or maybe someone who just wants it back to electric for sentimental reasons.

In general, I don't see much sentiment for clocks with cords anymore. The last electric I restored was for a movie theater built in 1938. This was about 5 years ago. Someone had bought the long closed up building and was having the whole thing restored. The case had been painted to match the wall long ago and now they were matching paint from the clock to repaint the walls! It had a little hooded nite light that extended out about 6" and shown back against the dial, so people could see what time it was when the movie was running and the lobby was dark. Pretty kool ...

Willie X
 
  • Like
Reactions: bikerclockguy

davefr

NAWCC Member
Nov 29, 2008
485
25
28
Oregon
www.telechronclock.com
Country
Region
Am I missing something here? I was thinking about buying a PAM advertising clock for my shop, and all the advice I got was along the lines of “Don’t do it, you’ll electrocute yourself or burn the house down”. I would still like to have one, are they dangerous or not?
Any old electric appliance can be dangerous if you put it into service without inspecting it for safety. (Just like buying a used car with worn tires, bad brakes and fuel leaks).

However with some common sense, they are perfectly safe to run and here's what I would do:
 

bikerclockguy

Registered User
Jul 22, 2017
749
76
28
Country
Yep, a few months ago (on this list) people were saying categorically, electrics were a fire hazard??

For me, it doesn't matter to much which way the story goes. Electric clocks have their strong points and so do battery clocks. The main difference to me is the expense of repairing electrics today. It only makes sence for a nice Revere, or very large dial clock, or maybe someone who just wants it back to electric for sentimental reasons.

In general, I don't see much sentiment for clocks with cords anymore. The last electric I restored was for a movie theater built in 1938. This was about 5 years ago. Someone had bought the long closed up building and was having the whole thing restored. The case had been painted to match the wall long ago and now they were matching paint from the clock to repaint the walls! It had a little hooded nite light that extended out about 6" and shown back against the dial, so people could see what time it was when the movie was running and the lobby was dark. Pretty kool ...

Willie X
Glad someone else remembers that! As a rule, I like mechanical clocks much better, but I have a soft spot for the old PAM advertising clocks, as they remind me of country stores and playing pinball as a kid at the VFW while my dad shot the breeze with his buddies at the bar during the 60s-70s. So...I think I’ll start my search again. Thanks Willie(Dave and Tim too!), and it sounds like the theater renovation was a cool thing to have a part in!
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,713
1,912
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
In the "old" days, people were inclined to put pennies in the fuse box in place of burned out fuses. There were many unfortunate fires caused by that carelessness. Today's breaker switches offer much better protection and can simply be reset when they open a circuit. If an electric clock shorts out or is drawing too many amps, the breaker will take care of it. I woudn't be afraid of that issue if contemplating buying one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bikerclockguy

Tim Orr

National Membership Chair
Director
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Sep 27, 2008
1,573
291
83
Boulder CO
Country
Region
Good afternoon, all!

By the way, just think about how you'd go about putting a penny into a fuse socket without shocking the snot out of yourself, or at least, creating a blue spark display – if there were no cutoff switch!

Best regards!

Tim
 

bikerclockguy

Registered User
Jul 22, 2017
749
76
28
Country
Good afternoon, all!

By the way, just think about how you'd go about putting a penny into a fuse socket without shocking the snot out of yourself, or at least, creating a blue spark display – if there were no cutoff switch!

Best regards!

Tim
Been there, done that. Turn off main switch, install penny in socket, screw blown fuse down on top of penny, turn main back on. Spend the rest of the evening feeling wall sockets to see the if they are hot, and asking your girlfriend “Do you smell something burning?”
 
  • Like
Reactions: shutterbug

Dr Gerry

New Member
May 10, 2021
4
0
1
63
Country
I have replied to Dave, and I want to give him a shout-out for fixing the wires! Very gracious!

I understand the importance of keeping vintage items original. However, if this is something that someone would truly want to use on a day to day basis, I don't see why converting it to battery is a big deal. What's the real "value" of a vintage electric clock if you're not going to use it? Store it on a shelf and tell people it's worth a lot of money? If you don't plug it in and let it run the motor will only go bad again. I think, if you like the clock - update it to an accurate battery operated quartz, so you can actually use it. Anywhere, without the need for an outlet.

Wisdom from an idiot . . . .
 

Tim Orr

National Membership Chair
Director
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Sep 27, 2008
1,573
291
83
Boulder CO
Country
Region
Good evening, Doctor!

Of course, the clock belongs to you, and therefore, you may even crush it under your foot if you wish to. If that urge comes up, please contact us. Someone will almost certainly wish to take it off your hands.

Trouble is, as Dave said, once a clock is converted to say, a battery quartz movement, it is often irrevocably altered, and as such, its horological history is destroyed. We have no way of knowing what might happen. Someday, someone might be looking for just such a clock to learn something about its history or the history of similar clocks. Someone might desperately need a part to repair and bring back to life a similar clock. There's no way of telling what might happen.

If you could convert it to quartz without having to alter any of the existing parts, and if you could somehow save and keep all the old parts with the clock for future investigators, that would probably be fine. Some of us do just that, installing little bags or boxes inside old clocks to hold those extra parts.

Many of us hate those quartz movements where the second hand jumps from second to second and the movement makes an annoying "tic" at the same time. That's why, I believe, there are now quartz movements that silently move the second hand.

But can you convert it without altering the original? Can you keep the old parts with the old clock? If the old parts are stored in a drawer or a box somewhere, it is virtually a certainty that they'll eventually become permanently separated from the clock. Someday, someone will find them and wonder why you kept this old pile of "junk."

Someone else will see the clock on an auction site and think, "At last, I've found one of these! I want it!" only to be crushed to learn that it's been converted and the original parts are nowhere to be found.

Like you, most of us hate seeing old clocks sitting on a shelf, not working and gathering dust and rust. It would be nice for them to continue to do their duty and display the time for everyone to see.

It is often said that we do not own clocks. Instead, we merely have custody of them for future generations. Over time, there are fewer and fewer of them that survive. I hope yours won't become one of those.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old Rivers

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,713
1,912
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Yes. Putting a quartz movement in it will destroy any value there is for a collector, or even for someone looking for usable parts. You would be just as well off with a $10.00 clock from Walmart if you're going that way.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
166,184
Messages
1,447,734
Members
86,720
Latest member
Tommy Nolan
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,883
Last edit
E. Howard & Co. by Clint Geller